Easy fire Simi Valley California 1030
Easy fire Simi Valley California 1030
Now playing
02:58
Here's what it's like in the Simi Valley as fire rages
Nafiah Ikram
WCBS
Nafiah Ikram
Now playing
01:51
Acid attack victim speaks after horrifying incident
President Biden is hosting a two-day virtual summit of world leaders starting today, which coincides with Earth Day, to address the global climate crisis. He committed the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
Pool
President Biden is hosting a two-day virtual summit of world leaders starting today, which coincides with Earth Day, to address the global climate crisis. He committed the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
Now playing
03:56
Biden opens global climate summit: 'This is a moral imperative'
stacey abrams john kennedy split
POOL
stacey abrams john kennedy split
Now playing
07:39
'Ok, I get the idea': GOP senator cuts off Stacey Abrams on controversial voting law
Now playing
03:05
Was QAnon used by foreign adversaries?
pool
Now playing
02:53
How Derek Chauvin conviction launched federal probe
Pharmacy student Jason Rodriguez prepares Pfizer vaccines at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami, Florida on April 15, 2021. - Jackson Health System launched a Covid-19 vaccination initiative with colleges and universities in Miami-Dade County, which include Barry University, Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College and University of Miami. Through this partnership, students who are Florida residents, as well as out-of-state and international students, will be allowed to sign up for a COVID vaccine appointment via our online portal. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images
Pharmacy student Jason Rodriguez prepares Pfizer vaccines at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami, Florida on April 15, 2021. - Jackson Health System launched a Covid-19 vaccination initiative with colleges and universities in Miami-Dade County, which include Barry University, Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College and University of Miami. Through this partnership, students who are Florida residents, as well as out-of-state and international students, will be allowed to sign up for a COVID vaccine appointment via our online portal. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:55
Covid-19 vaccine demand may soon reach a tipping point
Now playing
04:03
Taliban threatens to kill Afghans who worked for US during war
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks to reporters as she arrives for the continuation of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The next phase of the trial, in which senators will be allowed to ask written questions, will extend into tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks to reporters as she arrives for the continuation of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The next phase of the trial, in which senators will be allowed to ask written questions, will extend into tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:08
Murkowski explains why she's voting for Biden nominee
pool
Now playing
04:20
Watch as judge reads out verdict in Chauvin trial
News 12 Long Island
Now playing
02:45
1 dead and 2 wounded in shooting at Long Island Stop & Shop
CNN
Now playing
01:33
Gupta on Covid-19: It doesn't seem to transmit well on surfaces
Now playing
05:01
'Did I strike a nerve?': Val Demings takes on Jim Jordan
NBC/Today Show
Now playing
02:27
'To a certain extent, nativist': Bush criticizes current GOP
NASA/JPL
Now playing
01:29
Watch the Ingenuity helicopter's first flight on Mars
AirTag
Apple
AirTag
Now playing
01:17
See AirTag, Apple's new device for tracking your lost stuff
Scene video following a crash involving a Tesla Saturday night in Spring, TX
Scott Engle
Scene video following a crash involving a Tesla Saturday night in Spring, TX
Now playing
01:09
Fatal Tesla crash had no one in the driver's seat, police say
(CNN) —  

A herd of ravenous goats played a role in saving the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library after a fresh wildfire erupted Wednesday near Simi Valley in Southern California, forcing officials to order evacuations of nearby homes.

In addition the firefighters and aircraft crews that responded Wednesday, a hungry herd of as many as 500 goats had helped create a firebreak months ago in the brush that surrounds the hilltop complex, officials said. The goats last spring ate up vegetation that could have fueled the fire.

“One of the firefighters mentioned that they do believe the goats’ fire line helped them fight this fire,” library spokeswoman Melissa Giller said. “They just proved today how useful they really are.”

Named the Easy Fire, the blaze – one of several California wildfires burning in dry and windy conditions – began Wednesday morning in the hills near Simi Valley and has already burned 1,300 acres, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. It threatened 6,500 homes and forced school closures.

Firefighting aircraft were dropping liquid in the area near the library in a bid the stop the fire, CNN’s Bill Weir reported from the scene.

“Non-stop water drops is probably what really saved us,” Giller said. “We are just grateful.”

Other crews assaulted the fast-moving flames from the ground.

“It’s a whole lot of fire trucks, a whole lot of heroes out here protecting President Reagan’s library,” John Heubusch, the library’s executive director, told CNN affiliate KTLA. “They’re doing a heroic job.”

Flames surrounded the 1,300-acre complex at one point. Heubusch said a fire had never come so close to the presidential library.

“The flames are licking right up the hills, right up to the parking lot,” he told KLTA. “I think the parking lot will save the library.”

Aerial video from affiliate KABC showed a long line of fire burning on a ridge in the hillsides, parts of which were near the library and a residential neighborhood. Thick smoke rose from the flames.

Former US President Ronald Reagan's Air Force One sits on display at the Reagan Presidential Library as the Easy Fire burns.
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Former US President Ronald Reagan's Air Force One sits on display at the Reagan Presidential Library as the Easy Fire burns.

Simi Valley police ordered evacuations of the library – which also hosts the graves of the nation’s 40th president and first lady Nancy Reagan – and homes along a few nearby streets, police watch commander Adam Darough said.

A skeleton library staff – including security workers, the library director, the facility manager and the head curator – remained at the facility, trying to protect what they can, including artifacts and photographs, library spokeswoman Melissa Giller said.

The library houses Reagan’s presidential and California gubernatorial records, as well as the couple’s personal effects, including most of Nancy Reagan’s dresses dating back to the 1950s and her wedding ring.

The Simi Valley Unified School District closed all schools Wednesday because of the fire threat.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.